Herbs heal the nervous system (and soul) in profound ways

Photo: Mimosa or Albizzia tree in flower

Update Sept. 2016: I had reason to remember this post today since I’m off to a local’s house to pick up some branches so that I can harvest the bark. I’m very excited to have some local bark. This is a lovely herbal medicine that I am now using in a formula from Chinese Medicine that helps soothe the soul. A shen tonic which includes polygala, poria, astragulus, licorice, and reishi. Yes, I’m now learning a bit about chinese herbalism and I can finally do formulas because I continue to heal and am no longer so hypersensitive. 

Yesterday I started the day harvesting flowers from trees in my neighborhood. Flowers that help heal my nervous system. What joy.

Read about mimosa on herbalist Jon Keyes blog: Mimosa, the happiness tree. He did a really great little write-up just a week or so ago.

Oh, and for those who have histamine issues I did a bit of googling and discovered that mimosa/albizia is a potent mast cell stabilizer too. So it’s another natural way of healing histamine intolerance too. These things are all linked up and related. Because it’s also really helping my nervous system and PTS-like symptoms. It feels like it’s gently rewiring me. Here is a studyAnti-allergic activity of standardized extract of Albizia and here is my collection on histamine intolerance: Histamine intolerance round-up

I use a lot of different herbs in rotation. I generally don’t use any one herb daily. My body doesn’t like that. Mimosa is the newest addition. The bark and flowers are quite different and I am using both. I am lucky to be able to harvest my own.

I keep saying I’ll write more about my adventures with herbs because they’ve become such a beautiful and profound part of my healing journey. Honestly it’s like developing relationships with different beings as they help infuse me with wisdom that continues to help me heal. I promise I will at some point try to articulate more. For now I will continue share tidbits with you while I come to more deeply understand my experience.

Important updated note: I did not tolerate most herbs that impact the nervous system for a few years when the psych drug withdrawal syndrome was at its worst. Some people develop severe sensitivities in withdrawal and should be very careful about introducing any herb or supplement. I remain sensitive to most supplements but do quite well with carefully selected herbs. I also try baby doses when starting because there are certainly herbs that I do not and cannot take as well. Go slow and let your body be the expert. I always introduce only one at a time and never start with anything that’s been compounded. I like making teas myself with loose dried herb so that I can very carefully adjust dosing as necessary.

Another updated note: I find the bark of the mimosa more grounding and the flowers more uplifting…they’re not totally interchangeable…I’m starting to move towards the bark more and the flowers less for what my needs are right now.  What I need, of course, changes day to day and I’m still getting to know this delightful plant. Again, experiment and see what you body/mind needs.

Another update: Lots of people have asked me where to purchase this herb. Unfortunately it’s not widely available as dried herb in the west. Iti’s more commonly used in Chinese medicine. I did find this tincture made by a reputable herbal company. Herb Pharm Albizia Extract for Nervous System Support 

Here are a couple of posts that touch on herbs. I’ve mostly concentrated on herbs that help heal the nervous system, but I eat and drink many healing herbs of all kinds. Cooking herbs and spices, too, are part of my healing medicine. Good food is medicine. It continues to be a joy to learn more and more about our connection to nature and well-being through food.

I have to say harvesting your own food and medicine is particularly satisfying.

More posts on Herbs and healing and mental health

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About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters